Merrimack Valley Businesses Expect Challenges as They Reopen After Gas Explosions - NBC10 Boston

Merrimack Valley Businesses Expect Challenges as They Reopen After Gas Explosions

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    Businesses Start Reopening After Gas Explosions

    More than a month after the gas fires and explosions in the Merrimack Valley, and some businesses are stating to reopen.

    (Published Monday, Oct. 15, 2018)

    Chama Grill in North Andover, Massachusetts, has been cleaned, the food has been ordered and, most importantly, the gas has been restored.

    Owner Shahram Naghibi plans to reopen Wednesday night for the first time since the gas line explosions that rocked Merrimack Valley.

    "Extremely happy," said Naghibi.

    But he is concerned. Naghibi says it will be like establishing a whole new business.

    Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    [NATL] Avalanche Buries Unknown Number of People in NM

    Ski Patrol and first responders are working to rescue an unknown number of skiers buried in an avalanche at Taos Ski Resort in New Mexico

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    "That is going to be the challenge," said Naghibi. "To get our customers back to this place. It took six years to build it, and five weeks to ruin it."

    He is worried about whether customers return. He also needs to find more staff.

    Six employees — bartenders, servers and cooks — have left.

    "They had to go make money," said Naghibi. "They have to survive. They have families."

    In nearby Andover, Jassi Pabla couldn't wait any longer for the gas to be restored. He's made the costly move of converting to propane temporarily so he can reopen his restaurant.

    In all, he estimates he's out some $40,000 in lost food, revenue and new equipment to get his business back open.

    Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    [NATL] Iowa Man Gets "Jackpot Treatment" for $1 Lotto Ticket Win

    An Iowa man got the "Jackpot treatment" after winning $1 off a scratch-off lotto ticket. Tyler Heep decided to cash in the winning ticket at the Iowa Lottery Headquarters and was presented with a big check for his win. Heep spent his winnings on a gallon of gas.

    (Published Friday, Jan. 18, 2019)

    "I still pay from my pocket," said Pabla, who owns Raagini Indian Bistro. "I paid for the plumber, the electricians, the propane companies."

    He's counting on being reimbursed by Columbia Gas.

    "They say they will take care of us," said Pabla. "I hope that's true."

    At Chama Grill, where even the beer on tap had to be thrown out, the owner says this whole ordeal has cost him about $100,000.

    "It might take years to recover from this," said Naghibi.

    Hundreds of businesses across the Merrimack Valley were impacted by the gas line explosions. More than 80 are still closed down.

    ICE Detains Marine Veteran

    [NATL] ICE Detains Marine Veteran, Says No Investigation

    Family members are furious that a U.S. citizen and military veteran ended up in an immigration detention center facing the threat of deportation. Jilmar Ramos-Gomez was born and raised in Grand Rapids. His mother says he served a tour in Afghanistan while in the U.S. Marine Corps.

    (Published Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019)

    Get the latest from NBC Boston anywhere, anytime:

    App

    Download our FREE app for iPhone, iPad and Android. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-mail newsletters.